Here in West Texas, we look out for one another. We have compiled a list of resources below for people searching for job opportunities, ways they can serve the Lubbock community and how the efforts at the local, state and national level impact our lives.
$2 Trillion in total stimulus spending
This is courtesy of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce
- $350 billion small business (fewer than 500 employees) loan fund
- Up to $10 million in loans per business that is meeting payroll for the next eight weeks
- Expenses for payroll, mortgage interest/rent, and utilities are forgivable
- Can defer 2020 payroll taxes to Dec. 31, 2021 (50%) and Dec. 31, 2022 (50%)
- Changes to SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans for payroll, supply chain disruption, mortgage/lease, etc. (available to non-profits)
- $500 billion business loan fund for larger corporations (more than 500 employees)
- Loans and loan guarantees
- Oversight will be provided by a Treasury inspector general
- Loans will not last more than five years and are not forgivable
- $50 billion for passenger airlines and $8 billion for cargo air carriers
- Businesses receiving loans must maintain existing employment level as of March 24
- $300 billion in cash payments to Americans
- $1,200 cash payments per person earning less than $75,000, phased out through $100,000 of income
- $2,400 cash payment for couples filing jointly earning less than $150,000, phased out through $200,000 of income
- Additional $500 per child
- $250 billion for unemployment insurance
- Increases the maximum unemployment insurance payment by $600 per week for four months
- Extends the duration of unemployment insurance from 26 weeks to 39 weeks to coincide with the end of 2020
- New guidelines would retroactively be applied to January 27
- Extends to private contractors and gig economy workers
- No one-week waiting period (federal government covers cost for states that waive the one-week waiting period)
- $150 billion for state, local, and tribal governments to aid their respective responses to COVID-19
- $140 billion for hospitals and medical infrastructure necessary to combat the virus (masks, ventilators, accelerated workforce training for medical professionals, COVID-19 testing, CDC funding, etc.)
- Increases from $30 billion to $50 billion the amount the Agriculture Department can spend on its bailout program
- Changes to sick leave
- Paid FMLA leave capped at $200/day and $10,000 in aggregate
- Paid sick leave is capped at $511/day and $5,110 in aggregate (drops to $200/day and $2,000 in aggregate for sick leave taken to care for a family member or due to school closure)
- Other assistance for individuals
- Waives the 10% early withdrawal penalty from retirement accounts for COVID-19 related distributions up to $100,000, retroactive to January 1
- Guarantees COVID-19 testing will be free of charge to patients
- Student loan payments, principal, and interest can be deferred through September 30, 2020, without borrower penalty
- $350 billion small business (fewer than 500 employees) loan fund
- Job Openings
Workforce Solutions South Plains
In response to Governor Abbott’s state of disaster declaration in the state of Texas due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Workforce Solutions South Plains is committed to being responsive to the needs of parents, job seekers and employers during this time.
The goal of Workforce Solutions South Plains is to continue providing uninterrupted workforce services in our area.
Help us flatten the curve by adhering to guidelines set by our local, state and national leaders as outlined below. Washing your hands, practicing social distancing and using good judgment is as important now more than ever to continue our efforts in supporting Lubbock and keeping our community safe. Please review the following list of resources for COVID-19.
Family First Coronavirus Response Act
Effective Thursday, April 2, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will require all employers to include a policy to go in your employee handbook, which will serve to inform your employees of their rights to Family and/or Medical Leave. As an employer, this is the minimum you are legally required to do; however, you can pay full salaries if you so wish. You will be reimbursed for the amounts that you are required to pay.
Please note that the Emergency FMLA places all employers under the FMLA with the noted amendments.
Federal Law Alert | FFCRA: New Rule and Guidance from DOL and IRS
courtesy of: ThinkHR Corporation
NEW FFCRA GUIDANCE IN TEMPORARY RULE AND FAQS
The Department of Labor (DOL) has released rules related to administration of leaves under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and answered more common questions on their Questions and Answers page. Below are some key highlights to keep in mind when administering these leaves.
- Documentation: Employers may not require more documentation from employees than is described below. For instance, employers may not request a doctor’s note or an official notice from a closed school or daycare.
- Childcare Provider: The definition of childcare provider includes anyone who generally cares for the children in question. This includes individuals paid to provide childcare, like nannies, au pairs, and babysitters, as well as individuals who provide childcare at no cost and without a license on a regular basis, for example, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or a neighbor.
- Reasons for Self-Quarantine: Employees are only eligible for emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) if a health care provider directs or advises them to self-quarantine because the health care provider believes the employee may have COVID-19 or is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
- EPSL due to Stay-at-Home Orders: In some narrow circumstances, an employee who is subject to a stay-at-home order may be able to receive EPSL. They will only be eligible if the business is open and has work for them to do, but a stay-at-home order that applies specifically to them as an individual prevents them from working. For instance, if the retail store where an employee works as a cashier is still open, but the employee is over 65 and subject to an executive order from their governor that all people over 65 should stay home, they would be eligible for EPSL.
- Exempt Healthcare Workers: The exemption for healthcare workers is optional and the DOL encourages employers to be judicious in denying leave (if someone is sick with something that looks like COVID-19, you are encouraged to provide them leave anyway, even if they could be exempted). Healthcare facilities should still post the Employee Rights Poster required by the FFCRA.
- Limited Small Employer Exemption: Although this is not new information, we want to reiterate that small employers are only potentially exempt from the childcare leaves provided by EPSL and emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) leave. For instance, one reason for exemption is that providing leave would cause the employer to cease functioning at a minimal capacity. If a single employee asks for intermittent childcare leave one day per week, but can telework the other four days, that is very unlikely to be a financial burden that causes the employer to cease operations. It would therefore be inappropriate (or illegal) for an employer to announce that they will not be considering or granting any childcare leaves.
IRS GUIDANCE ON REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION FOR LEAVE TAX CREDITS
Employers have been anxious to find out what kind of documentation they will need to claim a payroll tax credit. The documentation that can be requested of employees is listed below. The IRS has a very helpful overview and FAQ that covers other common questions about the tax credits in detail.
Employers can substantiate eligibility for the sick leave or family leave credits by receiving a written request from the employee that includes the following:
- Their name;
- The date or dates for which leave is requested;
- A statement of the COVID-19 related reason they are requesting leave and written support for such reason; and
- A statement that they are unable to work, including by means of telework, for such reason.
For leave based on a quarantine order or self-quarantine advice, the request should include the name of the governmental entity ordering quarantine or the name of the health care professional advising self-quarantine. If the person subject to quarantine or advised to self-quarantine is not the employee, that person’s name and relation to the employee should be included.
For a leave request based on a school closing or child care provider unavailability, the statement should include the name and age of the child (or children) to be cared for, the name of the school or place of care that has closed, and a representation that no other person will be providing care for the child during the leave. If a child who needs care is 15 or older, the employee must affirm that there are special circumstances (but need not explain them) — the IRS otherwise assumes kids 15 and older can take care of themselves for the length of a workday.
According to the DOL, this is the extent of the documentation you may require.
- Lubbock Area United Way